Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 19 Kauai and the Grand Canyon of Hawaii

We flew from Maui through Honolulu to Kauai on a Tuesday evening. Using google maps we made our way to our hotel, which took us past the shipping docks to who knows where.

The following morning we were up and on our way before sunrise. After about an hour and a half, and a quick breakfast in Waimea, we made our way up to Waimea Canyon.

We were greeted by the official bird of Hawaii – the rooster.

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We made our way through the park until we reached the famed Kalalau Overlook. If it looks familiar, it should, it was used in Jurassic Park.

We are about 4000′ above the ocean at this point.

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Look closely you will see the helicopter well below in the valley.

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The other highlight of the area is Waimea Canyon.

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Waipo’o Falls cascades into the canyon.

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From a distance you can see why it has the nickname Grand Canyon of Hawaii.

It is immense, especially given how small the island is overall. This area of Kauai is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and well worth the trip.

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We made our way back down to the coast, and found this dirt road that continued in the direction of the bluffs we had just been on.

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Eventually we reached the end of the road and found this amazing secluded beach with a view of Ni’Hau.

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The waves, while not as impressive as what was in Maui, still made a great ‘Hawaii Five O’ look.

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But it was the view of the cliffs that made the dusty ride worthwhile.

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On our return trip to Lihue we stopped by the site of a Russian Fort, which was near the town of Waimea. Just down the hill from this fort a river ran into the ocean making some great sand dunes.

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Further along the coast we found Salt Pond Park and Beach. Nearby pools produce the famed Hawaiian sea salt, but the beach was more picturesque.

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Our final stop of the day was at Kauai Coffee. Very touristy, but amusing.

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They claim to have 4 million coffee trees, and near the visitor center you can take a walk amongst them.

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They also had some displays on how the beans are dried. These are for show, as this is a large commercial processing facility (that does not offer real tours of the plant).

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Remember that drive in the dark – it was much better in the sun!

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An amazing view at the Menehune Fishpond, literally a mile from our little hotel. The moral of this view is don’t always trust first impressions, the hotel and the views were spectacular – you just have to go through the cargo shipping area when you come from the airport.

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Kendallville, Indiana – September 2018 – Windmill Museum

The Mid America Windmilll Museum located in Kendallville has about 50 water windmills from the last 100 years. These windmills were key to the development of farming in the midwest.

The museum has a barn with some of the windmill wheels showing how they function. The museum was originally built to showcase a local windmill manufacturer, but now has models from several different companies.

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While most are the tall thin metal type, they do have one example of an English post mill.

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The blades, or sails, have a variety of shapes.

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The tails help stabilize and turn the windmill into the wind at the most optimum angle.

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The tails also serve as advertising for the manufacturer.

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Each manufacturer had a variety of shapes and sizes of tails and blades.

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Some painted colorfully.

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More symmetry – this time from the windmill blades.

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The water windmill allowed farms with no electrical power to be able to pump water in the vast remote regions of the midwest.

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The gears in the wheel  assembly would turn the hub attached to the long pump rod inside of the pipe in the well.

This up and down motion pulls the water up.

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These simple, elegant machines were the lifeline of the country.

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A close up of the wheel mechanisms.

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A wheel made to look like a Native American head dress.

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An overview of the collection. Note the different manufacturers on the tails.

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The museum also featured a small covered bridge.

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The post mill stands out in the crowd.

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Ironically the fountain in the water uses a modern electric pump, not the windmills. And the outhouse is just for decoration.

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One final look at the collection of windmills at the Mid American Windmill Museum in Kendallville, Indiana.

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Delaware, OH – July 2018 – Fun with Funghi

Our hot weekend continued with a visit to a local Metro Park – Gallant Woods – that was holding a ‘Mushroom Hike’. Lead by Kari, one of the Education leaders from the park service, we wandered through the woods for an hour while she and others spotted various types of mushrooms.

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Our group was small, with Kari and another family who was into foraging for mushrooms, making it very educational.

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Most of the mushrooms were quite small, but still very interesting.

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We found interesting growth on trees.

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A red one on a small twig.

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Mushy ones on another dead tree.

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It was fascinating how when you start looking closely how many different types there are. Much time was spent explaining how difficult it is to see the difference between poisonous ones and those that are edible.

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Kari would often pick them to give us a closer look.

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When you looked closely the details are amazing.

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One large tree had them growing all the way up the 50′ tall tree.

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While you are supposed to leave the mushrooms where they grow for others to enjoy, we were permitted to keep some since Kari picked them as part of our tour.

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Across the road is the original homestead complete with a restored 1930s farm house.

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The entire county parks system is featuring flight this year so one of the barns had a great exhibit with model planes.

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The exhibit’s planes were very impressive.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our hike with Kari, and the time spent with the other staff and volunteers afterwards in the farm house. The staff was even kind enough to share some mushroom quiche they had been preparing in the 1930s stove.

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Amish Country, OH – June 2018 – A variety of scenes

Sugarcreek is the center of Amish Country in Ohio, and with our trip to see the Age of Steam Roundhouse (other posting) we passed a strange mix of sights, including the photo above with an Amish buggy in front of what they claim is the world’s largest cuckoo clock.

On the way we passed the numerous farms in the area.

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The large corn crib nearly full provided an interesting shot.

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When we arrived in town we found that many of the buildings had murals on the front depicting Switzerland, as the town was founded by the Swiss and they continue to play up this fact for tourists.

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Including the fire station.

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Only to find …. a car show!

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With some strange rides

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And some nice ones.

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Lake Country, BC – September 2017 – Kangaroos in Canada

In the town of Lake Country, British Columbia there is a Kangaroo Farm. The people there seem very caring about the Kangaroos, and are welcoming. They have an area where you can hold baby kangaroos (they take them from the mothers early as the environment with so many mothers in a small space causes issues).

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The rest are roaming around, and you are free to interact and feed them.

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In addition to the Kangaroos they have other animals including goats.

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Birds

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Small horses

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The World’s Largest Rodent – Capybara (they were very friendly)

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But mostly – Kangaroos

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Kirtland, OH – February 2017 – A Morning on the Farm for Quilt Competition

With a day planned in the Cleveland area for a variety of events, we stopped by the Lake County Metroparks Farmpark in Kirtland, a working demonstration farm.

While we were there for a quilt competition, our first stop was the barn where the newborn animals were at. Among those there were 2 day old pigs and a week old sheep.

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The visitor center was holding the quilt competition. While I always think of quilts as a country item, there were a number of non traditional looking designs.

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Also nearby was a classic old bridge across the Chagrin River.

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Southern Ohio – October 2015 – Historic Iron Furnaces & Down on the Farm

Buckeye Furnace is a reconstructed charcoal-fired blast furnace, one of many that once operated in southeastern Ohio’s Hanging Rock Iron Region. Originally built in 1852, it stopped being used in 1894, but has been reconstructed as close to originall as possible. In addition to the furnace there are other reconstructed buildings, a museum and nature trails.

Buckeye Furnace is located in small, sparsely populated Vinton County, in far southern Ohio. The drive down took us on miles of nice twisty two lane roads with little traffic, initially in the Hocking Hills.

After spending an hour or so exploring the area we moved on to our second event of the day, Bob Evans Farm Festival. For those not from Ohio, Bob Evans produced breakfast sausages in the 1960s before opening a chain of restaurants in the 1970s and 1980s, whose motto is ‘Down on the Farm’. While he passed away years ago the namesake farm still exists near Gallipolis, Ohio.

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One day each year they have a festival with crafts and music. Thinking we would show up and check out the sights we were stunned when we got within a mile and found stopped traffic, before being routed into a giant field full of cars, and a long line to get into the festival.

The festival’s music was sketchy at best, although we did eventually find one stage that had some decent bluegrass bands. The crafts were typical country crafts, which was to be expected, and the food booths had lines with about 100 people in them. All in all a bust, so we left and on the way home stopped at a Bob’s in Circleville.

Not one of our better days.